Work With Ease and Comfort With the Best Cordless Angle Grinder
When most workshop guys think about grinders, they picture the hand-held angle grinder. This multifunctional power tool can be used for many tasks, including cutting iron tubing to repair a damaged valve, carving wood to make furniture, tile cutting for a backsplash, and cleaning grout between tiles.
With technological advancement, professional power tool usage is rapidly shifting to cordless power, and as a result, cordless angle grinders are becoming more popular. The ability to work autonomously from a steady power source is highly desirable. It means you aren’t bound to wires or power cords and can readily access difficult-to-reach workplaces. Whether working with wood, metal, or stone, an angle grinder wheel will make your life significantly easier.
If you are ready to add this versatile tool to your toolbox, we have reviewed and compiled a list of quality cordless angle grinders for 2023 to help you get the desired results.
Finding Your Next Cordless Angle Grinder: A Buyer’s Guide
When it comes to purchasing a cordless angle grinder, everyone has different requirements. Some people prefer their grinders to be as strong as possible for heavy-duty work, while others prefer them to be ergonomic and comfortable to work for extended periods. You will need to consider these things to determine which grinder is ideal for you. So, here are some features of a cordless angle grinder and how they affect performance.
Angle grinders are available in various sizes, each identified by a number representing the largest diameter of grinding disc or wheel that it can manage. A 4, 4.5, or 5-inch disc will work for the majority. Since bigger discs might be cumbersome or time-consuming, smaller sizes and weights are preferable for DIY projects.
Tool review: Hercules 20v cordless angle grinder vs DeWalt: 2 month review
In industrial settings, professionals typically utilize larger discs (up to nine inches) when cutting through thick chunks of material. Discs larger in diameter require grinders that can withstand greater cutting forces. This means you’ll use a heavier tool that’ll wear on your hands faster than a compact angle grinder.
The rpm of an angle grinder is the standard for describing its speed (rpm). Some powerful grinders can reach speeds of 12,000 rpm, while most operate at a lower range of 5,000 to 10,000 rpm. But, the rpm number is under “no-load” conditions, which means the disc is not grinding or cutting anything but is simply spinning in the air. When the disc starts cutting or grinding, the speed drops dramatically.
A higher rpm indicates that the tool is capable can cute material with greater ease and speed, but there is an increased risk of injury due to the disc’s potential to rupture as it heats up at faster speeds. Pay attention to the disc’s maximum supported speed and use the appropriate disc for the job. For instance, if you run a disc that is only supposed to withstand 7,500 rpm at a quicker speed, it may shatter and send pieces of the grinder wheel flying.
The power output potential of angle grinders is measured in volts (V) and amperes (A) (amps). The power of a cordless angle grinder’s battery is measured in volts. Most cordless models have 18-volt or 20-volt batteries, but some have 7.5-volt or even 24-volt batteries. Most cordless power tools have a “magic number” of 18 to 20 volts, which is the best mix of price and usefulness.
The angle grinder’s guard is a very important safety feature covering half of the disc. Its job is to protect the user’s hands by stopping sparks and other debris from flying at them. It also keeps surfaces from getting damaged when working in tight spaces.
The guards on some angle grinders are movable, whereas, on others, it is permanently attached. The adjustable model is preferable because it can shield the user from projectiles in either direction and is useable with either hand. But, if the bolts aren’t secured, a removable guard could come loose. In contrast to removable guards, fixed guards are more secure and won’t fall off using a grinder.
Angle grinders might recoil slightly on starting up because they are quick, strong tools. This is especially true if the wheel is big and heavy. The motor’s recoil can cause the angle grinder to jump in the user’s hands, leading to possible serious injury. Soft-start technology decreases the output power to the motor initially, gradually rising until the grinder is fully operational. This power regulation reduces the jolt to the user’s arms and wrists and keeps the grinder from recoiling during start-up, improving safety.
DeWALT Cordless Angle Grinder Review
As someone who knows plenty of blacksmiths and welders, I would say that over 75% of them have a DeWALT grinder in their starting lineup. Granted, these are mostly corded grinders, but DeWALT has gotten it right with their angle grinders compared to other tool manufacturers. Yet again, they grind their way towards the front and hit the mark with the DeWALT Cordless Angle Grinder Review.
DeWALT Cordless Angle Grinder Review Overview
In an array of cordless angle grinders, only a few stand out due to the nature of the tool. The angle grinder, at its core, is an intense tool. One for cutting through very hard materials like concrete and steel. To do this, it requires substantial power and high-performance motors. It also requires a rugged design that plans for the longevity of use in rough environments. On top of all of these factors, safety is key. The angle grinder can become a very dangerous tool if misused or defective. Taking all of this into consideration when making a decision on a cordless grinder is important for homeowners and professionals alike.
After using the DeWALT, I definitely like it. Admittedly, other than my weird obsession with drill/drivers, angle grinders are my “favorite tool.” But to be completely candid, for someone like myself who does a large majority of work from a home shop, it’s hard to replace a corded grinder. On the other hand, the pesky cord is a huge annoyance to me and a safety concern. With that being said, from now on, I’ll leave the corded grinder in the cabinet for when I absolutely need it. The cordless tool has yet again won me over, especially since the DeWALT has some great features and tremendous build quality.
DeWALT Cordless Angle Grinder Review Features
Truth be told, on the grinders’ I had growing up when learning to weld, there were no guards. recently, my corded grinder is absent of one as well since it had perished after a hard drop. This DeWALT has one that will stay on! The very robust type 27 steel guard is adjustable and locks to whatever position you desire. Being able to direct your sparks and residual chips is important, and this guard does a fine job. Also, this model sports a 4.5in wheel, the general standard that is perfect for almost any application. Additionally this grinder runs on DeWalts 20V battery platform.
As I mentioned above, angle grinders can be dangerous to operate. In case of an accident you definitely want the cutting wheel to stop as fast as possible, rather than wind down. To accomplish this, there is a brake feature in the tool. Now, don’t confuse this with an actual device braking the rotation of the business end. Instead, via the motor, all current Is cut, and the gears stop within 2 seconds or less. This happens during any binding, pinching, or stalling occurs.
The brushless motor on the DeWALT turns at a nicely paced 9000 RPM under no load. Sure to be more than enough juice for any project. To learn more about brushed and brushless motors, be sure to check out this recent article that explores their key differences.
The two-stage trigger is a great best practice that has been incorporated into the tool. Before the paddle can be depressed, another small trigger must be activated. This reduces the risk of accidental activation.
The general tool construction is very well done. The tool shell is composed of a material that we’ve discussed in the past and can be found here in What Your Tools Are Made Of. The PA66 30% glass fiber reinforced plastic is strong, impact resistant, and sturdy. The tool shell was also well molded, and was very easy to snap back together after looking under the hood.
In addition, I was happy to see plenty of parts either machined or turned on a lathe throughout the tool, a clear sign of quality.
The butylene rubber overmold is done quite nicely, with dovetail molding into the tool shell. The material is generally grippy, and this overmold is quite thick as well.
Grinding is messy, and DeWALT has done a pretty good job of minimizing the ingress of dust into the internals. Importantly, while still allowing ventilation of the motors. This is accomplished by some mesh vents installed near the rear of the tool. The mesh looks to be suitable for the micron size associated with metal and concrete grinding and is secured to the tool shell, rather than being part of the mold. I suspect that this is to allow some cleaning of the mesh. If so, great job on DeWALT for the design!
As for the rest of the tool, no unnecessary holes are present, and the trigger surprisingly has a boot to prevent debris from traveling into the switch. Overall, DeWALT has done a great job of reducing debris creeping into the tool.
As with most other quality angle grinders, access to the gearbox is quite easy with the removal of the gearbox shroud.
Once inside the main housing, the gears look to be of good quality, and liberally lubricated with the water-resistant, lithium-based molybdenum disulfide grease. If in the event your gears ever wear out or become damaged, replacing the drive gear, and accompanying spiral pinion gear is very easy. This is due to this Smart design with easy access to the gearbox.
DeWALT Cordless Angle Grinder Review Performance
I really took my time in the testing, teardown, and during actual projects with this grinder and I’m flat out impressed. Angle grinders take a beating and should be made for this, accordingly. The DeWALT just flat out delivers.
When cutting and grinding carbon steel for knife making blanks, I zipped through a rough cutout in just seconds, then switched discs and began some very effective grinding.
The same can be said for concrete. I tested on several bricks and drained my battery while seeing how effective the tool was against one of the toughest challenges for grinders. Lastly, for a tool restoration, I’m working on, I was able to quickly and elegantly reface an antique masonry hammer. Overall, through everything, the DeWALT was effective and ergonomic. Obviously, this was best paired with their 20v MAX 5mAh battery!
DeWALT Cordless Angle Grinder Review Value
Having quality tools that handle tough jobs with metal and concrete is important, and not a place to skimp. And as mentioned above, build quality should be on par with price, since these tools will be taking quite the beating. The DCG413B is an example of extreme build quality and reliability for the money. You can grab the bare tool at The Home Depot for 169.00, a great price for a tool that will certainly last you a very long time.
DeWALT Cordless Angle Grinder Review Final Thoughts
After a long span of thinking that corded grinders were the only way to go – I’m turned! This DeWALT proved in such a short period of time that quality, price, and reliability can culminate together! In times when corners are cut for cost savings and profit margins by many competitors, DeWALT has proven again to be a front-runner, the DCH413B is proof of that!
DeWALT has done it yet again within their 20v MAX line. The DCG413B delivers to any user that is used to a corded grinder, without the hassle of a power cord. The build quality, performance, ergonomics, and overall fit and finish is impressive for a very low cost in comparison to its competitors.
Ridgid 18V 4 1/2-Inch Cordless Angle Grinder R86047
Ridgid is coming in strong this year with a fresh batch of updated tools and among them is an updated Ridgid 18V cordless 4 1/2-inch angle grinder. We’re going to break down the key details and give you a first-hand look at what makes this grinder worth considering.
Ridgid 18V Cordless Angle Grinder Performance
There’s a lot of debate in the tool industry over paddle triggers vs slide switches on angle grinders. I tend to prefer a paddle trigger simply because I feel like I have greater control of the tool but that’s just my preference. On the other hand, Kenny likes a slide switch.
For this model, Ridgid goes with a large paddle switch that spans the majority of the grip. This gives you the opportunity for multiple hand positions to best suit your needs. Just like other paddle switch tools, there’s a spring-loaded safety for added security during transport.
Once you activate the paddle switch, the Ridgid R86047’s brushless motor spins its 4 1/2-inch grinding wheel up to 9,000 RPM.
Let’s Talk Power
Ridgid doesn’t provide an exact corded equivalent for this angle grinder, but from our experience, it feels and performs very similarly to a 9-amp model. During our testing, we were able to really put some good pressure on it, but it’s not too difficult to slow it down compared to larger cordless angle grinder options.
In terms of application, the Ridgid R86047 is really helpful for light to medium-duty applications such as knocking off rust/paint, polishing, and cutting frozen nuts and bolts. It can reach into some of the tougher applications, but those are the kinds of things you want to move up to a larger, stronger class for the best productivity.
Ridgid 18V Cordless Angle Grinder Design
Overall, we really like the ergonomics of this angle grinder. The rubber overmolded grip section is slim and very comfortable in my hands.
Its 5.8-pound weight (including a 4.0Ah Max Output battery) is very manageable and similar to corded small angle grinders.
From tip to tail this angle grinder measures 13.3 inches. While it’s not labeled as a “compact” tool, it is highly maneuverable and excellent in tight spaces.
Ridgid includes an electric braking mechanism that quickly stops the wheel’s rotation in a matter of seconds once you release the switch.
One nice thing about this grinder is the simple tool-free guard adjustments. To rotate, simply press down on the spring-loaded button and move it into the position that keeps you from getting a spark shower.
One thing to note is that there’s no cut-off wheel shroud. The guard that comes with it is perfectly capable of pulling double duty, and it’s not unusual for small angle grinders to only include one style.
One thing I really love about this angle grinder is how Ridgid simplified the flange nut. There’s a built-in folding tab that flips up to give you a better grip and loosen/tighten by hand. We love any option that lets us leave the spanner wrench in the toolbox.
2-Position Side Handle
As with most grinders, the Ridgid R86047 has a 2-position forward assist handle. It gives you a much more stable grip as well as helps to dampen some of the vibrations felt during use.
Ridgid 18V Cordless Angle Grinder Price
The Ridgid R86047 retails for 159 as a bare tool at your local Home Depot or online. It includes the tool, type 27 grinding wheel, guard, side handle, and manual.
Ridgid backs this grinder with its lifetime service agreement when you register within 90 days of purchase.
The Bottom Line
After using the updated Ridgid 18V cordless angle grinder, it’s pretty hard not to like. It’s a great fit for lighter jobs and tight spaces when the size, weight, and power of medium and large angle grinders are overkill.
Click here to see what’s new from Ridgid!
Ridgid 18V Cordless Angle Grinder Specifications
- Model: Ridgid R86047
- Power Source: Ridgid 18V battery
- Max Speed: 9,000 RPM
- Trigger Style: Paddle
- Weight: 4.5 lbs. (bare), 5.75 lbs (with 4Ah battery)
- Length: 13.25 in.
- Arbor: 5/8 in.
- Max Wheel Diameter: 4 1/2 in.
- Warranty: Ridgid Lifetime Service Agreement
- Price: 159 (bare tool)
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Home » Latest Tool Reviews » Cordless Tools » Angle Grinders » Festool Cordless Angle Grinder AGC 18-115 Review
Festool Cordless Angle Grinder AGC 18-115
Cordless Angle Grinder AGC 18-125 5.2 EBI
Manufacturer: Festool Model number: 576823 Price: 625 Power source: 18 V battery Weight: 5.95 lbs (with battery)
Festool is known for making high quality, highly refined, and long-lasting tools. The Festool AGC 18-115 Cordless Angle Grinder is no exception. With a robust feel, soft start, and a tool-less accessory change this tool has the features and refinement you’d expect from Festool.
Features and Specifications
- Stepless speed adjustment from 4500 to 8500 rpm
- Low vibration
- Brushless EC-TEC motor
- Soft start-up, electronic overload protection, electronic brake, and restart protection
- Enclosed motor and cast electronics provide dust protection
The Festool AGC 18-115 is the smoothest grinder I have used. It has a soft start that almost eliminates the sudden jerking that happens when you turn on other grinders. Festool also decoupled the motor from the housing making this tool vibrate much less than any other grinder I have used. The battery and power switch are oriented on a parallel axis to the grinding or cutting wheel. This does have the advantage of putting the switch right under your thumb during cutting tasks.
For someone who does mostly residential remodeling I’ve been dealing with a lot of structural steel lately. This has given me some quality time with the Festool AGC 18-115. I’ve had to cut notches in ½” plate steel, trim down ½”, ⅝’ and ¾” anchor bolts, cut ¼” steel plate, cut #4 and #5 rebar, and bevel the ends of ½” threaded rod.
Grinders tend to bounce a bit during use. Especially during grinding tasks. I found that this tendency was drastically reduced with the AGC 18-115 due to the tight manufacturing tolerances, design, and decoupling of the motor and gearbox from the housing of the tool.
A grinder is usually a no-nonsense, on/off kind of tool. It either does the job or it doesn’t. But this is far and away the most refined and feature-rich grinder I have used. The AGC 18-115 produces minimal vibration, is easy to handle, and has a tool-less guard adjustment and tool-less wheel fixing nut.
It is also variable speed which opens up a lot of versatility for grinding materials like aluminum, stainless steel, and even doing some polishing with the appropriate attachments.
The power is on par with other cordless grinders I’ve used. On a recent job we were replacing or repairing a bunch of footings and piers under an existing home. We found that a few of the footings were actually OK and reusable. But this left some old rebar sticking out of the footings. I was going to leave it (a little more reinforcement can’t hurt) but one bent bar was too close to the form work and would be in danger of rusting out and cracking or spalling the concrete over time. So I had to cut it after the form work was already in place. I have to tell you cutting #4 bar down inside a 14” by 14” by three and a half foot deep box is not my idea of a good time. But the AGC-18 made quick work of it and did so without kicking back or vibrating my hand off my forearm. It was very comfortable to use even in this uncomfortable situation.
Later on this same job, I had to modify a shower drain to add weep channels. These channels allow water to drain out of the shower pan. Some drain bodies aren’t set up with this and the easiest way to fix it is to grind a channel in the threads of the brass. I dialed down the speed, put in a fresh disc and was able to perform this delicate task with ease and plenty of control.
Systematic Systainer Approach
Like the vast majority of Festool’s offerings the AGC 18-115 Cordless Angle Grinder comes in a Systainer. With an insert that holds the tool, two batteries, a charger, and a few accessories. The Systainer system has additional organizers, totes, and customizable inserts. In addition, they stack and interlock quickly and easily with each other and on top of Festool’s dust extractors. Plus the Systainer 3 system has wall-mounted rack systems available that can be used in the workshop or for vehicle storage. The Systainer system has been around for a long time in Europe and while the cases may not be as robust as some systems they last a long time when treated with care and take up significantly less space than many of their competitors.
The not so great.
This is normal for most grinders. But a lot of companies are making an effort to slim down the body of the tool to make the grip more comfortable and ergonomic. While the grip does step down when past the actual motor it would be nice if it was stepped down to an even smaller diameter as a slimmer, easier to hold tool would be nice.
Lack of dust extraction options
One of my main uses for an angle grinder is coping trim or making end grain scribes using coarse grit sanding discs. The low vibration and smooth operation make the AGC 18-115 a great tool for this but, like any angle grinder, it throws around a lot of fine dust. A dust extraction shroud would be fantastic for this task and in keeping with Festool’s commitment to excellent dust extraction.Price, like all things Festool, is at or near the top of the price spectrum. But if you’re looking at Festool you probably already know this and are OK with paying the premium for a high-end power tool.
Festool Cordless Angle Grinder AGC 18-115 | Final Thoughts
This is a high quality, super smooth grinder with some really nice features. Aside from the thick grip, it is a very ergonomically friendly tool. If it suits your needs and you can justify the price you won’t be disappointed.